In addition to these fundamentals and focused academics, there is another important conceptual framework that is becoming an integral part of the learning process at JCDS. It has to do with belief systems: how students think about themselves, see and handle situations, and view the world and their future in it.
These “mindsets” make a difference in our lives and are the hallmarks of successful people. The innovative program, based on extensive outcome research on social and emotional competencies and individual performance, is based on The 7 Mindsets by Scott Shickler and Jeff Waller.
The 7 Mindsets book makes the point that success isn’t necessarily about gaining more knowledge or new skills; what people believe about themselves and their world helps shape and define what they achieve. Using simple, powerful language, the approach teaches and activates success strategies, guiding students to make good choices and to pursue their dreams with a heightened sense of purpose.
With distinct curriculums for each grade level, the program focuses on social-emotional learning to increase self-determination, personal achievement, and resilience. It empowers young people to pursue their best possible lives and helps prepare them for what lies ahead.
Specifically, The 7 Mindsets teach the following:
• Everything Is Possible
• Passion First
• We Are Connected
• 100% Accountable
• Attitude of Gratitude
• Live to Give
• The Time is Now
Kate Krawiec, a Leader Teacher in 1st grade, introduced and has spearheaded the implementation and assimilation of the mindsets at JCDS. She witnessed the significant benefits of the program first-hand during her tenure at a school in suburban Atlanta.
Kate is quick to point out that “social-emotional learning has always been a part of what we do here so the mindsets are an added bonus that enhances our efforts with a more structured, intentional approach and a common language.” Ms. Krawiec has become the point person for professional development and ongoing training of the mindsets.
JCDS was the first school in the state to implement the program. “The whole school is focused on the same thing, at the same time which is very powerful. The administration has been amazing in their support of this program.”
Each month, a different mindset is a focus and it is explored in the daily classroom Morning Meeting. An online portal provides weekly guidance and lessons on the four subparts of each mindset and supplies specific coursework, including suggested readings and videos. Students at all grade levels are very engaged and enthusiastic about the mindsets; you see, hear, and feel the energy campus-wide.
“One of my favorite things about the mindsets is that they encourage young people to learn to be resilient while developing self-confidence,” Nancy Hockenbery, a 6th grade Lead Teacher and advocate of positive mindsets, said. "This will serve our students well as they approach any challenges with confidence."
The mindsets are the latest innovation at JCDS to enhance the lives of its students. They are designed to help young people recognize that accomplishment is built upon sustained hard work and in collaboration with others. And there is no doubt, given the program’s enthusiastic uptake and participation, that students will gain an even greater positive sense of self and confidence in their abilities to shape their destiny and contribute to the world. At JCDS we teach positive mindsets to help students to live their ultimate lives.We would love to show you how we help students realize their full potential. Please click here to schedule a tour.